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Napoli star interesting Barcelona officials

Barcelona have joined the race to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to various reports.

Mundo Deportivo have led with the headline claiming officials from the Catalan club are watching his performance in the Italian league closely and that various scouting reports highlight the defender’s qualities.

Premier League sides Chelsea and Everton are also said to be interested with the former having had a bid in the region of £50m reportedly rejected earlier this summer.

Barca are said to be considering a swoop after indicating the need to sign a third defensive option and provide back-up for Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique, citing Javier Mascherano’s ageing playing days and the ill-form of Thomas Vermaelen, who is yet to play this season.

The 26-year-old started his career with French side Metz, having featured 42 times for them between 2010 and 2012.

A move to Belgian side Genk followed before arriving in Naples in July 2014.

Having featured 130 times for the Serie A side, Koulibaly has also established himself for the Senegalese national side, playing 22 times.

Barcelona face Olympiakos on Wednesday in the Champions League, where they will be hoping to secure a third win out of three games in their group.

In the other group game, Borussia Dortmund face off against APOEL Nicosia.

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